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Faculty Leaders

Barton Thompson

Barton "Buzz" Thompson, '73, MBA '76, JD '76, a leading authority on environmental and natural resources law, is one of the founding directors of Stanford's Woods Institute for the Environment. His research, scholarship and teaching focus on water and biodiversity policies, fisheries management, market and other alternative solutions to environmental problems, as well as constitutional protection of property rights.

"Buzz Thompson is a fantastic speaker, person, and travel companion. He readily answers questions, is eager to engage with guests, and offers keen insights with his comments. Buzz also is an incredibly nice guy!"

Ken Rock, '76, MS' 77, MBA '85, Burma, 2017


At Stanford:

  • Joined the Stanford Law School faculty in 1986
  • Robert E. Paradise Professor of Natural Resources Law, since 1995
  • Senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, since 2001
  • Perry L. McCarty Director of the Woods Institute for the Environment, since 2004
  • Founding director of the law school’s Environmental and Natural Resources Program
  • Vice dean, Stanford Law School, 1999–2004
Other Positions:

  • Chairman of the board, the Resources Legacy Fund and the Resources Legacy Fund Foundation
  • California trustee, The Nature Conservancy
  • Board member, the American Farmland Trust and the Natural Heritage Institute

  • Control of Water Resources: Cases an Material, St. Paul, MN: West Pub. Co./Thompson Reuters, 5th ed., 2013.
  • Stress Relief: Prescriptions for a Healthier Delta Ecosystem, San Francisco: Public Policy Institute of California, 2013.
  • Water and the California Ecosystem, San Francisco, CA: Public Policy Institute of California, 2012.
  • Tragically Difficult: The Obstacles to Governing the Commons, 30 Environmental Law 241-278, 2000.
  • The Endangered Species Act: A Case Study in Takings and Incentives, 49 Stanford Law Review 305-380, 1997.
Academic History:

  • BA, Economics and Political Science, 1973, Stanford University
  • MBA, 1976, Stanford Business School
  • JD, 1976, Stanford Law School